The idea for Valencia Airport was first conceived in Spain's 1927 Airport Act, which considered it a priority to have an aerodrome built in the area. Its seaport was adapted for seaplanes for that purpose.
The authorities initially intended to locate the airport on a stretch of land dividing La Albufera from the sea, so the facilities could be used for land and sea planes alike. Faced with several obstacles and forced to consider other options, they eventually decided to build the airport by the town of Manises.
The aerodrome was officially opened in March 1933 and granted customs status in September 1934. The first scheduled flight was made on the 1 September 1934, with the formal opening of the Madrid-Valencia route.
Work began on the first hard-surface runaway (runway 12/30) in the summer of 1946, using a metal net covered with a layer of limestone on a base of steamrolled rock. Runways 12/30 y 04/22 and a small airport apron were built and hard surfaced between 1948 and 1949.
A taxiway was built in 1953, to connect departure point 30 to the airport apron, as was a parallel taxiway the following year, to link to the 12/30 for the military aviation service.
Approval was given to the extension of runway 12/30 and the taxiway at its north-eastern end in February 1958, with its corresponding parking areas, and to the installation of an approach light system.
A new passenger terminal was opened in 1983 to replace the one built in the mid-1960s. The new building's biggest innovation is its use of solar energy harnessed from its solar panels.
March 2007 saw the opening of the airport's first extension, which included: a new terminal for regional flights connected to the main terminal on its west; the building of a private aviation terminal and a vehicle parking terminal and the extension of the runway, taxiways and aprons.
The airport's second extension was opened in July 2012, involving the building of another terminal, connected to the main terminal on its east, with a further twenty check-in counters and a new baggage hall, and a new vehicle-parking building, among other things.
For more information, you can purchase the book by Julián Oller and Luis Utrilla, Historia del Aeropuerto de Valencia.
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